Build Back Better Regional Challenge - Phase 1 (American Rescue Plan)
Economic Development Administration (EDA)
To provide technical assistance grants to approximately 50-60 regional coalitions across the country and help them develop transformational economic development strategies The 2-phase BBB Regional Challenge aims to grow new regional industry clusters or scale existing ones through planning, infrastructure, innovation and entrepreneurship, workforce development, access to capital, and more.
Applicant and/or Project Eligibility Requirements
Applicants should identify one key coordinating lead institution per regional coalition to lead the concept and projects into the implementation phase, while fostering collaboration and coordinating resources to ensure these investments have the greatest economic impact on our communities, regions, and the nation.
Consider strengthening existing sectors or creating new sectors in line with the Biden Administration's priorities and in line with the program guidelines to develop a competitive strategy for regional growth clusters. This is a highly flexible opportunity for coalitions to innovate and redefine their economy. Such strategies could consider regional supply chain enhancements or bringing new energy and sustainability related sectors to your region. This is particularly critical for coal community economies that EDA seeks to support by diversifying away from coal.
A strong regional growth cluster will ensure that the proposed projects’ and broader cluster’s benefits are shared across all affected communities, both urban and rural, and provides benefits to existing residents. Although not required, EDA encourages efforts to reach historically excluded populations, BIPOC, and women.
EDA invites eligible applicants to form regional coalitions to apply for funding to implement a collection of three to eight distinct but related projects in their region, in coordination with industry and community partners, and aligned around a holistic vision to build and scale a strategic industry cluster. Applicants and coalitions are encouraged to think creatively - similar to the EDA's Build 2 Scale program, but even bigger. EDA will ultimately evaluate projects based on regional impact by measuring, first and foremost, how many projected jobs can be created, retained, and how many new companies and private investments can be attracted.
Talk with your EDA representative if preparing an application. Your local office is well-positioned to help ensure you are meeting program criteria and considering strategic regional opportunities. https://eda.gov/contact/